November is Adoption Awareness Month - Has Adoption affected your life?
Here is a story from my best friend Lauren and her husband Jared. Thank you for sharing your story!
Our choice to adopt.
Without getting into too much detail, my husband and I were unable to get pregnant. This is not something that we have been told will never happen. Just something that might take a lot of time. Or as everyone who has been pregnant will tell someone who wants to get pregnant, “It is all in God’s time”. Don’t get me wrong, I hope that is true. My faith has brought me this far in life and I hold on it will keep me going! Here is the thing though. We are ready to start a family.
When I was young I always pictured myself adopting. When I got married I was lucky enough to marry a man who was compassionate and understood that desire. He was always on board with the idea. We both thought we would have a child biologically then adopt. What is that expression? Tell God your plans and He laughs. Something like that I am sure. We tried, we saw doctors, we cried, I screamed and yelled. One day after a particularly long time of being ‘okay’ with the thought that it might just take years, I thought why? Why did we have to wait? We are in a great relationship, we work, have a home, and are stable. We are not rich but we are wealthy in friends, family, love, and support. So why did we need to wait.
In my state there is a program called The Call. It is run by DHS and it a state organized and supported way to adopt. Currently we are in the middle of the program. I am going to share what it takes to adopt. Trust me it was not what I thought it would be. But, my babies/baby will be able to say we sure did want them because we are working so hard!
First, you sign up and attend a meeting that happens weekly through DHS. You fill out a stack of paper work, they run a background check, you get fingerprinted, and a DMV check happens. Next you are put on a list of people to alert when the classes start. The program is called PRIDE. This is a program a lot of states are using. It consists of 9 sessions. Some are all day, some are a few hours, each is eye opening. These classes discuss everything from the types of abuse the children have potentially been through to bonding with children placed in your home. You have a mountain of paperwork, homework, and reading material. Once this is completed you start your series of home study visits. During this time someone comes to your home (for hours at a time) and looks at your child safety locks, looks in your nightstand and dresser drawers, they go through your house to ensure safety, and they even check outside and in the garage. Then they start the Q&A portion. If you think there is something to shameful or embarrassing be aware they ask about it. From your sex life to the way you were disciplined as a child, everything is relevant to them.
Please do not get me wrong. As long as the process is and as stressful as it can but. There is nothing I would not do to ensure the safety of a child coming to my home. As a woman I look at my small home and think they will come in and judge me. We don’t have matching anything because we love to mix things up. Is my house clean enough? Am I saying the best and most correct things? Women…we put a lot of pressure on ourselves. So, it has been a blessing to have family and friends right beside us during the process.
Once the home study is complete they will determine how many times they need to return. If there was anything unsafe or anything we need to work on they give us time and will come back and double check things. Then once all that is complete we fill out more paper work about what kind of child we want. The age, sex, race, and how many children are just some of the things we will put down on paper to give them an idea of what to approach us about. If we make our list to narrow we run the risk of waiting a very long time. We have decided to be pretty open.
Then we wait.
Once a child is placed in our home we will have weekly home checks for a month, monthly home checks for five months, and if everything is going well at six months we can go to court and make the adoption legal. I am sure there is something I am leaving out. The process is long, detailed, and nothing moves as fast as your heart hopes it does. But, as my husband has said, there is something good about it all taking time.
It has changed our hearts and made us more open. This program has taught us about some of the reasons children end up in the foster care system. Some are exactly what you think, abuse, neglect, death of family. Some are not anything you would think in your wildest dreams. These children will have gone through more in their short life than some adults can even process.
We feel called to adopt. We are ready to start a family.
What we ask is for prayers to open more hearts to adopt, prayers that children go into homes and bond well, and that DHS gets more support. We are taking charge of our lives in the best way we know how, by adding more love through adoption.
We are paper pregnant.